Men’s Colony inmates lacking religious life, grand jury says

July 15, 2015

CMCshadowA San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury report released Tuesday states one major issue exists at the California Men’s Colony: religious life has been placed on the “back burner.”

Grand jury members inspected the prison last September and interviewed a number of staff members. The inspection report states custody staff have limited attendance at religious services, constituting a violation of the California Code of Regulations.

Also, prison chapels have leaks, asbestos and mold. Prison chaplains are unpaid and must report to mid-managers at the prison, according to the grand jury report.

“While inmates are required to give up many of their rights when entering the prison, religious expression may only be restricted when a compelling government interest has been established,” the report states. “If you are of a religious bent the three CMC chapel structures are not a fitting place for God to make his home.”

The grand jury calls on the Men’s Colony to pay chaplains and bring chapels into compliance with state building codes. Also, chaplains should report to an associate warden, not to mid-management, according to the grand jury’s recommendation.

Additionally, the grand jury says the Men’s Colony needs to fix its moldy bread problem. Corcoran State Prison currently supplies the bread at CMC.

The Men’s Colony is not required by law to respond to the grand jury, but the grand jury encourages a response.

A Men’s Colony spokesperson told the Tribune that the grand jury report contained information that was not complete or inaccurate. CMC provided the grand jury with follow-up information, but it was not included in the report, Lt. Monica Ayon said.

Ayon said the CMC chapels are currently under repair, and the state budget and regulations restrict how the California Men’s Colony compensates and communicates with its chaplains.


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68 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    When is the Grand Jury going to investigate corruption in the City Halls of SLO County?

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. hotgrandma says:

    (not so hot in north county lately)

    Oh please! When we feed, house and provide medical care for every child, disabled, elderly and animal and stop wars I will worry about this.

    Give the inmates some water, soap and bleach and let them clean up the place.

    Have the Grand Jury worry more about foster care homes for children and facilities for the disabled and elderly.

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • SamLouis says:

      Do you really think you’re going to sell that here? You set-up a ridiculous comparison in order to attack that which you do not like — faith/religion. It’s not constructive because in simplest terms it’s not going to happen.

      Further, “soap, water and bleach” isn’t going to cure “leaks, asbestos and mold” per the article.

      Cute but no sale…

      (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
  3. SLOBIRD says:

    Let me see, you commit a crime against the state (people) and go before a government judicial system, get convicted, get sentenced to a government prison and want a chapel for… What happened to separation of church and state. Bring your bible to prison (have your mama send you one), have your church visit you, and have your visitors preach to you on your monthly visitors. No cost to the taxpayers and if you are truly sincere, this will work out well for you with all your spare time. Your welcome!

    (-4) 26 Total Votes - 11 up - 15 down
    • SamLouis says:

      Do you have ANY clue at all what the “separation of church and state” actually means in the US? It largely means that the Federal Government won’t create a national church (ala the Church of England) and use taxpayer $$$ to fund it.

      (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Seems to me that our current government has infringed on the freedom of religion severely and you have the nerve to point the finger at me. I don not want to pay for one extra thing for these criminals, chapel, bible, nike tennis shoes, ministers, kosher food, TV’s, exercise equipment, etc. I also think they should be feed 3 meals a day, be kept clean, wear pink and not be treated ill unless the require it. That is all I have to say about this!

        (3) 15 Total Votes - 9 up - 6 down
        • SamLouis says:

          Are you truly that short-sighted? You list a litany of things you don’t want to pay for yet it’s clear you have never considered the real price of not paying for some of those things?

          The real price in terms of longer incarceration, great medical costs (in and out of prison), a greater impact on society when they do leave etc. Stop and think!

          (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down

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